One of the most commonly asked questions preceding breast augmentation is “Will I loose feeling in my breasts”. When a breast augmentation is performed placement of the implant stretches the surrounding tissue. The nerves in the surrounding tissue are stretched and sometimes the outer layer of the nerves are torn and until they heal can lead to temporary numbness, a sensation of pins and needles, or uncomfortably increased sensitivity (hypersensitivity). These changes are more likely to happen when larger implants are placed and more stretching occurs. These are normally temporary problems and resolve as the nerves heal and adapt to the stretching. The chances of loss of feeling in the nipple and areola area of the same whether or not an areola incision is made or an inframammary crease incision is made. The chances are also the same whether or not the implant is placed above or below the muscle. Incisions made in the inframammary crease are more likely to cause temporary loss of feeling in the lower part of the breast.
Increased sensation (hyperesthesia) in the nipples and the surrounding areola following breast augmentation is not uncommon. After an implant is placed the surrounding breast tissue and skin stretch. This stretching can result in temporary alterations in the surrounding nerves. Very often this stretching of the nerves can result in increased feeling in the nipple and the surrounding areola which may be very uncomfortable. Very commonly patients complain of discomfort with light touch such as their clothing rubbing on the area. Many patients cover the nipple and the surrounding area some type of bandage to prevent the discomfort. As the breast heals and swelling diminishes the nerves recover and normal feeling returns. Recovery is usually complete within 3 months, rarely, however it might take up to 6 months.